• Own Voice

Trick or Treaty?

Director Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)
Year 2014
Run Time 84min
Genre Documentary

One of the masters of Canadian documentary cinema, Alanis Obomsawin has spent decades chronicling the injustices visited on First Nations communities, creating a remarkable body of work. In her latest film, she digs into the difficult history of Treaty 9, the infamous 1905 agreement in which First Nations communities allegedly relinquished their sovereignty over their traditional lands.

Setting the film against the recent resurgence of First Nations activism (Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike and the Idle No More movement), Obomsawin interviews legal, historical and cultural experts — as well as people whose ancestors were present when the treaty was signed — to explore some fundamental questions about Canada’s relationship with our First Nations.

“Obomsawin’s documentaries inform, inspire and shock us. Trick or Treaty? is no different.” — Nadya Domingo, Toronto Film Scene


Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)

Legendary Abenaki filmmaker Obomsawin has made over 50 documentaries on issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada, including Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Trick or Treaty?, Is the Crown at War with Us?, Our People Will Be Healed and Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger. Her most recent film is the short documentary Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair. Next, she is set to appear in an episode of Marie Clements' Bones of Crows: The Series.


Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)


Annette Clarke, Alanis Obomsawin (Abenaki)




BIPOC Stories, Environment, Female Filmmaker, Indigenous Filmmaker, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language


Language Versions

EN CC, FR Subtitles

Canadian Distributor

National Film Board (NFB)